George Floyd’s attorney believes that Floyd and Derek Chauvin, one of the four officers blamed for the death of the black American, were acquaintances. In fact, he claimed that Floyd and Chauvin had had an interaction prior to Floyd’s fatal arrest last week.

According to civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump, the information about Chauvin’s relationship with George Floyd could upgrade the charges currently filed against him. On Sunday morning, Crump called for a first-degree murder charge against Chauvin, claiming that Chauvin knew who Floyd was when he arrested him on May 25.

“We believe he knew who George Floyd was,” said Crump.

Floyd died on May 25 while being arrested by the police in Minneapolis. Video footage of his death revealed that he died under police custody as one of the police officers pressed his knee against his neck for about 10 minutes while he was lying facedown on the ground. The video showed Floyd repeatedly telling the police that he could not breathe before falling unconscious.

After the video had surfaced, Hennepin County attorney Mike Freeman announced that Chauvin would face three-degree murder and manslaughter charges for his role in the death of Floyd. Chauvin and the three other officers were also fired from the Minneapolis Police on Tuesday.

Third-degree murder and manslaughter indicate that Chauvin did not intend to take Floyd’s life. On Friday, however, a former Minneapolis club owner claimed that both Floyd and Chauvin had worked in his club and therefore knew each other. He said Chauvin had been the club’s resident off-duty officer for two decades, while Floyd had periodically been a security guard over the past year.

According to Crump, Derek Chauvin and Floyd’s shared employment indicated that the murder was premeditated. “They had to overlap,” he said. “We think that he had intent based on, not the one minute, two minute, but over eight minutes, almost nine minutes he kept his knee in a man’s neck that was begging and pleading for breath. George Floyd died because of the knee being shoved into his neck, and he could not breathe,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Kellie Chauvin, wife of Derek Chauvin, has filed for divorce from the police officer. In a statement, she said she “respectfully requests that her children, her elder parents, and her extended family be given safety and privacy during this difficult time.”

A Minneapolis police officer holds his knee to the neck of George Floyd, who died in police custody.  Facebook/Darnella Frazier / Darnella Frazier

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